If you're taking prompts from that angst list, could I request “look, i know we agreed to be friends and everything but that’s what everyone says when they break up. i can’t take you asking me for advice on how to ask out the new person you’re interested in, okay? it’s killing me” With stucky? :) Or really any of them. Your writing is awesome, it'd be fun to read whatever you choose! :)
Everyone breaks up at the end of senior year. It’s just a thing that happens. In fact, he and Steve were smart about it — they broke up at the beginning of summer so they could be over the initial heartbreak before school, so they could enjoy the first few weeks. And sure, it was tough spending the summer knowing Steve was a few blocks away and not being able to climb up the fire escape and drink frosty root beers, but as the summer progressed they started texting again, and had even gone to get coffee together the week before Bucky was set to move to Northwestern.
Now it’s almost Halloween and they’re talk each other almost like they used to.
And Bucky is over him. He swears.
“Texting your boyfriend?” Wanda asks over a lunch of cafeteria burgers and fries on October 30th.
“Not my boyfriend,” Bucky corrects as he types out ‘LOL’ to Steve.
“But it’s him, right?” Wanda asks.
Bucky glares at her over his phone.
“And that’s all the answer I needed,” Wanda says, stealing a fry from Bucky’s plate.
“You have your own!” Bucky says.
She dips the fry in ketchup. “Yeah, but yours are crispier,” she says.
Bucky rolls his eyes and then his phone starts ringing. Confused, Bucky looks down and sees the picture of Steve sitting in the branches of a tree that Bucky took the summer before their junior year. Bucky swallows hard. He probably just butt-dialed him. It’s probably just a mistake.
Bucky’s going to answer it anyway.
“Sorry,” he says to Wanda as he stands up. “I gotta take this.”
“Enjoy talking to your boyfriend. I’m going to eat your fries.”
“There better be a fresh plate here when I’m done,” Bucky says, then answers. “Hullo?”
“Hey Bucky,” Steve says, and that pain in his chest is totally normal, right? It’s just how you should react when you hear your friend’s voice for the first time in months.
“Hey, uh, Steve. Thought you were butt dialin’ me or somethin’.”
Steve laughs, low and throaty, and if Bucky weren’t maneuvering through a crowded cafeteria, he’d close his eyes and focus on taking it in. “Nope, I just… I have something going on, and I want to talk about it. Can we chat?”
“Of course,” Bucky says. “Whatever you need, Steve.” His throat’s closing up for no reason, none at all.
“Thanks, Buck,” Steve says. Bucky finally gets outside to where it’s quiet. “It’s just, I’ve always talked to you about this kind of stuff and it feels weird talking about it with anyone else, so… I’ve just been wanting to talk to you about it.”
Bucky bites down on his bottom lip. “What kinda stuff, Steve? You okay?” Bucky asks, suddenly worried.
“Yeah!” Steve says, “Yeah, I’m fine, I’m just… There’s this party tomorrow night, a Halloween party and there’s… well, there’s this guy.”
Is this how it felt when the dinosaurs saw that meteor up in the sky, unable to do a thing before it killed them all? Because all at once it feels like the world is ending.
“A guy?” Bucky manages to say.
“Yeah, he’s… He’s a junior. I met him in an art history class. And he’s… really great, actually. I dunno, I haven’t felt like this in… Well, he asked if I’d be at this party tomorrow night and I’m just nervous in a way that I haven’t been in a long time.”
“Don’t worry, Steve,” Bucky says, “I’m sure he’ll love you.”
The ‘like I do’ is implied.
Bucky forgot how fucking horrible New York is on Halloween.
“Can’t believe I’m doin’ this,” he mumbles as he dodges drunk NYU students dressed in culturally appropriative costumes on his way into apartment 602. He gets in with no difficulty and starts the processes of scanning the crowd. Steve usually stands out, but it’s Halloween and knowing Steve he’s probably in some awful, obscure costume that no one understands.
And then he hears some guy say, “Are you listening to me, Steve? Jesus, why would you hide your body in that turtleneck?” and Bucky knows that Steve recycled last year’s Andy Warhol costume.
It’s easy to spot the white wig and the creep hovering next to Steve. Bucky pushes his way through a small throb of gyrating people with all the adrenaline of draining his bank account for a plane ticket to New York just on the off-chance he can win his ex-boyfriend back.
Which just so happens to be the situation.
“Anyhow,” the creep says. “Maybe we should go back to your place and we can take that turtleneck off, huh?”
“I’m not…” Steve starts then seems to see Bucky a few steps away. “Buck?” he asks.
“Steve!” Bucky says, finally getting to him. “Who’s this?” creep asks. Bucky ignores him.
“Bucky, why’re you here?” Steve asks.
“Because it’s really fuckin’ rude to ask your ex who is obviously still hung up on you about some new guy. What the fuck, Steven? Your mother raised you better than that!”
Steve looks stunned and silly in his white wig and all-black ensemble. “I’m… I’m sorry, I didn’t…”
“Didn’t think?” Bucky asks.
Steve barks out a laugh. “Yes!” he says. “I didn’t.”
“That’s why you need me,” Bucky says. “Someone’s gotta do the thinkin’.” He pauses, suddenly self-conscious after his big speech. “I mean, if you want to. Think. Be with me. That sort of thing.”
And that’s when Steve starts grinning. “Yes,” he says, emphatic. “Yes, Jesus. Bucky, I missed you. I love you.”
It takes them about four seconds until they’re grabbing at each other, kissing, and knocking Steve’s wig off. Bucky hears the creep mutter, “What the fuck?” but he doesn’t care.
He’s here. With Steve. And that’s how it should be.